National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Safety Officer Type 1

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SOF1 Safety Officer Type 1 Incident Position Description

The Safety Officer Type 1 (SOF1) is responsible for monitoring the overall operation of an incident from a risk management perspective and providing recommendations to mitigate hazards in order to provide for the welfare of assigned resources. The SOF1 may function as a member of the Command Staff of a Type 1 or 2 Incident Management Team (IMT) or may be a single resource. The SOF1 may supervise the Medical Unit Leader (MEDL) or other members in the safety organization. The SOF1 typically reports to the Incident Commander (IC) and works in the Command functional area.

The SOF1 performs position duties commensurate with Type 1 incident complexity and characteristics stated in the Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book).
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Leadership Level 5, Leader of Organizations (Create Vision)

  • For additional information review Level 5 description, expected behaviors and knowledge, suggested development goals, and self-study opportunities.

Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness.
  • Obtain and assemble information and materials needed for SOF1 kit.
  • Travel to and check in with incident supervisor at incident.
  • Review Incident Action Plan (IAP) and obtain briefings from incident supervisor, Operations, or outgoing Safety Officers, as necessary.

Build the Team

  • Interact with all incident personnel to develop and maintain positive interpersonal and interagency working relationships.
  • Order additional Safety Officers and medical personnel as necessary.

Supervise and Direct Work Assignments

  • Establish and communicate objectives, priorities, work assignments, and performance expectations.
  • Identify, analyze, and use relevant situational information to make more informed decisions and take appropriate actions.
  • Adjust actions based on changing information and evolving situation awareness. Develop and implement contingency plans. Communicate changing conditions to assigned resources and supervisor.
  • Monitor performance and provide immediate and regular feedback to assigned personnel.

Perform Safety Officer Type 1-Specific Duties

  • Monitor incident operations and advise the IC or supervisor on matters relating to the health and safety of incident resources.
  • Correct unsafe acts or conditions through the regular line of authority, although direct intervention will be used to immediately correct a dangerous situation.
  • Post safety information around camp, as appropriate.
  • Monitor fatigue throughout incident personnel and make recommendations on operational period lengths to ensure work/rest guidelines are followed.
  • Conduct periodic inspections of base camp facilities.
  • Review IAPs to ensure safety issues have been identified and mitigations put in place.
  • Monitor food, potable water, security, supply and sanitation service inspections.
  • Monitor driver or operator qualifications especially with specialized equipment such as All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) and forklifts.
  • Monitor air operations and coordinate with air operations staff to ensure aircraft use is essential and effective.
  • Monitor incident roads and driving conditions to provide for safe use by personnel.
  • Monitor health and wellness of incident personnel including fatigue, smoke exposure, illness, injury, property damage trends, excess stress, etc., and ensure mitigations are in place.

Perform Command and General Staff (C&G) Responsibilities

  • Advise and assist C&G of their risk management roles and responsibilities.
  • Establish a common operating picture around risk with incident leadership and resources.
  • Analyze proposed and selected strategic alternatives from a risk management perspective. Prepare the Safety Message (ICS 208) for the IAP.
  • Review the IAP for safety implications.
  • Coordinate with C&G to develop the IAP Safety Analysis (ICS 215A or equivalent).
  • Review, provide input, and approve Medical Plan (ICS 206).
  • Initiate and/or conduct accident investigations for injuries, vehicle and equipment damage, and near misses.
  • Establish Incident within Incident Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the IMT.
  • Participate in planning process and advocate effective risk management.

Perform Fireline Duties

  • Establish systems to monitor fire activities for hazards and risks.
  • Perform site visits to areas that pose the highest risk to personnel.
  • Monitor and evaluate operations from an on-scene perspective. Give priority of effort to hazard mitigation and planning for medical emergencies.
  • Assist operations personnel in planning for and responding to medical emergencies.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • Attend briefings as assigned by your supervisor and/or appropriate for your assignment.
  • Prepare and present safety topics for briefings as appropriate for your assignment.
  • Use suitable communication techniques to share relevant information with appropriate personnel on a timely basis to accomplish objectives in a rapidly changing, high-risk environment.
  • Communicate with medical resources to determine injuries and illness trends and make recommendations for mitigations.
  • Ensure a process is in place to communicate significant change in weather to incident personnel.
  • Participate in After Action Reviews (AARs).

Manage Risk

  • Use the risk management process to detect hazards, assess risk, and implement and monitor controls to support effective risk-based decision-making.
  • Identify human factors that may increase risk to incident personnel and make suggestions to correct those factors.
  • Function as subject matter expert on the risk management process and be prepared to advise and assist leadership and incident personnel.


  • Complete and submit Activity Log (ICS 214) as appropriate.
  • Crew Time Report (CTR), SF-261 (Watch: How to correctly fill out a CTR)
  • Document incidents of a serious nature, including but not limited to deficiencies in food and potable water supplies; vehicle and equipment accidents or significant damage; driver/operator qualifications; air operations hazards/unsafe conditions.
  • Ensure appropriate accident, incident, and other safety reports (such as SAFECOMs and SAFENETs) are completed and submitted.
  • Prepare narrative or special reports as needed.


  • Coordinate an efficient transfer of position duties when demobilizing.
  • Review incident demobilization plan to ensure appropriate safety guidelines.
  • Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures and work/rest driving standards are followed.
  • During transfer of command ensure continuity of operations and exchange critical safety information.


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